Dancing with the Wind, Frost and a Delicious Salad
A wonderful big/baby greens and winter fruit salad with a creamy aged cheese and toasty nuts are what I crave when the first Florida frost touches me and my nose gets cold. Frost? I guess that was last night and I admit I am exaggerating....but I will say anything for this salad. Frost like hurricane winds came in on Biscayne Bay last night as the Versace 2010 Spring and Summertime was unveiled. Bitter sweet and bitter cold. It was then, as I was watching 6ft + models, long and lanky, dance the walk in 6 inch platform boots with 2 inch toe risers with tiers of hair and fabrics balancing gingerly to and fro that I realized I was doing the same. They were playing odds with the wind just as I was creating that same said salad with red Bella Rosa baby lettuces too playing odds with the wind. Only those artfully arranged nuts and fruit dancing to keep those delicate ruffled lettuces from flying off their plated platforms. As it turns out artfully un-arranged can be just as delicious!
WINTER WILD GREENS SALAD WITH MAPLE VINAIGRETTE
5 oz. package organic Wild Greens
2 ripe pears
Juice of 1 lemon
1 c. sliced Fuyu persimmon (ripe, but firm to touch)
1 c. walnuts or pecans
1 c. crumbled blue cheese (Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Maytag Blue)
¼ c. pomegranate seeds
Fresh cracked black pepper
Toast the walnuts until golden brown in a 350 degree oven, in the middle rack for 5-8 minutes. You will smell the oil of the nuts being released. Cool and set aside. Check the greens for crispness and freshness. Cut the pears into even slices and toss into lemon juice. Make the vinaigrette and set aside. Toss the Fuyu persimmons with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
To assemble. Ladle 2 tablespoons of the dressing on each of the plates. Dry the pears and place them on the center of the plate. Mound the persimmons on top of the pears. Toss the greens lightly with the dressing just enough to create a shine. Mound the greens on top. Crumbl the blue cheese and nuts around the salad, and finish ladling the dressing on the plate if needed. Dust each salad with fresh cracked black pepper and pomegranate seeds
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 t. Dijon mustard
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
1 t. fresh chopped thyme
¼ c. maple syrup
1 minced shallot
¾ c. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Mix together the first five ingredients. Whisk in the oil until loosely emulsified. Taste and adjust. Season with salt and pepper.